Sean Solomon Awarded National Medal of Science

In early October, Sean Solomon, the Observatory’s director and the principal investigator of NASA’s mission to Mercury, was awarded the nation’s top scientific honor, the National Medal of Science. A geophysicist who has spent much of his career studying Earth’s neighboring planets as well as the Earth itself, Solomon will receive the medal at a White House ceremony later this year. “These scholars and innovators have expanded our understanding of the world, made invaluable contributions to their fields and helped improve countless lives,” President Obama said when announcing the recipients.

Study Reveals Surprise About Creation of Oceanic Crust

Two-thirds of Earth’s surface is covered in oceanic crust, but the deep plumbing that generates new crust remains poorly understood. New images from a chain of volcanoes beneath the Pacific Ocean show that magma may be erupting from a multi-layered magma chamber extending two miles or more beneath the seafloor, far deeper than originally thought. Coauthored by geophysicist Suzanne Carbotte and published in a recent issue of Nature Geoscience, the study may help resolve a debate about how new crust forms at mid-ocean ridges where Earth’s tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart.

A Day in the Life of the Hudson River

Once a year, the pier in the nearby village of Piermont becomes a field station, and local students become environmental investigators. The event, called “A Day in the Life of the Hudson River,” celebrates the Hudson River Estuary and educates participants about this historic and vital estuary system. In Piermont, a large group of Lamont scientists led students through a series of field experiments, including sediment coring and mapping how high the river may rise under several carbon dioxide emissions scenarios. Over the past 12 years, the program has engaged more than 23,000 participants, bringing together students, teachers and scientists for hands-on learning and fun.

Picturing Climate Change

A new collaboration among Lamont-Doherty, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) and New York City’s International Center of Photography (ICP) is designed to increase public awareness of climate change through the photographs of Sebastião Salgado. Lamont and IRI scientists will participate in a series of panel talks and gallery tours at the ICP throughout the fall and winter, using Salgado's photos to discuss the impacts of climate change in different parts of the world. In addition, photos of Lamont climate research and expeditions will be published on the ICP’s Instagram account during the weeks of October 27, 2014 and January 5, 2015.

Our Experts in the News 

Washington Post: 'Storm Surge’ by Adam Sobel on Hurricane Sandy
Scientific American: U.S. Dust Bowl Unrivaled in Past 1,000 Years
NBC News: Locked Faults Could Pop Big Earthquake in Bay Area
WNYC: Extreme High Tides Could Flood Our City's Streets
LIve Science: Why Deadly Japan Volcano Erupted Without Warning
Make A Gift
Your support helps to revolutionize the ways that Earth science research is conducted, taught and understood.
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory seeks fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world. Our scientists study the planet from its deepest interior to the outer reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean, providing a rational basis for the difficult choices facing humanity.